Robert Ivy Speaks On AIA Efforts To Connect Architecture To Public Health

The American Institute of Architects recently announced a decade-long commitment to producing solutions that make full use of the organization’s design and technology capability to address the challenges of public health, long-term sustainability, and resilience. The announcement is music to the ears of AIA members who have voiced for some time their desire to make the health of both people and the environment a central theme to the goals of architecture.

The announced occurred during the Clinton Global Initiative where over 1000 leaders from countries around the globe were present to take part in discussions on “Designing for Impact.”

American Institute of Architects, under the leadership of company CEO Robert Ivy, intends to show the clear link between building design and its correlation with the health and well-being of the individuals that live and work in those buildings. Ivy explains that this effort has been named the “Decade of Design,” and will receive funding and contributions from AIA in a variety of ways.

Ivy took the time to answer a couple of key questions pertaining to the matter recently.

Why is now the time for the AIA to make the connection between health and design

We have for quite some time felt that there was a clear connection between health and design but we seek now to provide the proof. It is our goal to now produce the data and give concrete examples in order to quantify through case studies the relationship that exists between architecture and public health. I truly feel inspired by the process at this time.

Elementary principles of design already teach young designers to consider things like access to things like clean drinking water, access to fresh air, and sunlight when designing buildings but now we are looking to prove the impact of building design on important health issues like heart disease and diabetes.

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Why was this announcement made at the Clinton Global Initiative

We did, in fact, make a similar announcement at the CGI a year ago. At last year’s conference, we pledged to a year’s commitment to restarting previous projects that have stalled. We are now raising the stakes and committing to a ten-year partnership with entities that will soon be announced. CGI is the perfect forum to share information on these matters and we are all fortunate that it exists.

Why is hackathon to vital to the efforts of AIA

Hackathon is a perfect fit for the AIA mindset and we are looking forward to them producing apps that will help us to demonstrate the undebatable connection between the health of individuals and the design of buildings. I feel this is an incredible way to make the issue of architecture of personal interest to the general public.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is a membership organization of architects and designers established more than 150 years ago by 13 architects with a mission to promote and support architects and the field of architecture. AIA now has more than 90,000 architect and design members throughout the U.S. and three of its territories, Europe, Canada, and Asia. The AIA is committed to building structures that create safe neighborhoods, but it is also deeply involved in the broader global community. The AIA has as one of its goals to reimagine the role of architects and designers and to lead AIA in that effort is the Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Ivy.

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